Great Beginnings…

They say that history repeats itself. We have seen things time and time again, and yet we don’t often appreciate the past that brought us to where we are. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Guavaberry in 2019, we thought it only fitting to let you know a bit more of our history and how it shaped who we are as a family and a company.

Did you know that Betty and Charles weren’t the first generation of Roys in the BVI?

Our story actually starts with Charles’ mum and dad Christine (yes, a family name!) and William Roy. These two left Perth, Scotland for Texas waaaay back in 1913. William had a job lined up in Houston, and took his then-fiancee Christine with him. They were married that year in Houston , and gave birth to their first child, William (known to everyone as Bill) there in 1915. They left the USA in 1916, as William joined the war effort. Their second son, Charles was born in the UK later that year.

Christine, Bill and Charles

How did they get to the BVI then? Well, after the war, William was to return to Huston, Texas to work, but had time before he had to be there. His grandfather had told him that two of the most beautiful places he had ever visited were Japan and the West Indies. Well, Japan was a tad out of the way, so he got on a ship with men being repatriated back to the West Indies after the war. On the ship, William met then-Commissioner of the BVI, HW Peebles. They struck up a friendship, and Major Peebles (yes, of hospital fame) invited William to visit. William fell in love with Tortola, purchased land at Pasea, and sent a telegram to Christine to tell her to bring the two boys. They traveled to Tortola in December of 1919. The trip was literally life-changing, with the family deciding to make this their permanent home. I, for one, am quite thankful if only for the fact that I will always prefer flip flops to cowboy boots!

Pasea Estate

William and Christine built their home in Pasea, and settled down to island life. In 1926, they added a final son, Rowan, to their dapper collection. Their former home is still standing, even after Irma! William, who came from a family of farmers, grew local crops and assisted the government with its agricultural programme. Their boys split their time between home on Tortola, and school in Scotland. In the late 30s, William and Christine bought a parcel of land on Virgin Gorda as a 25th wedding anniversary gift to each other. Can you guess which one?

William and his boys

Spring bay matriarchs

While the Roys did spend a fair amount of leisure time on Virgin Gorda, they never developed the land they purchased. That’s not saying they didn’t leave their mark, though. Remember those lovely palm trees lining Valley Trunk? William planted those. We were devastated to see most of them destroyed by the hurricanes last year. William and Christine remained at their estate in Pasea for the rest of their lives. William passed away in 1952, but Christine survived a further 20 years, and enjoyed time with her grandchildren – they all have wonderful stories of their youth in the BVI, and Christine features prominently in them.

Christine Roy

Now you know our early beginnings, and a little about how we started off in the BVI. We’ll continue the story later with a bit more modern history which some of you may even remember.

9 thoughts on “Great Beginnings…

  1. We, too, loved reading this story! it makes Guavaberry feel even more like the special place it already is. Thank you so much for sharing it! Bob & I can’t wait to come back, probably in 2019 but we constantly think of all of you!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your family’s and Guavaberry’s early history! What a leap of faith it must’ve been back then to travel to and settle in an unfamiliar place, but I’m so glad William and Christine were brave enough to take that leap!! I see a young tamarind tree in one of the photos; did William plant that as well? I’m so sorry to hear that those gorgeous palms along Valley Trunk are gone, but am still in awe of the fact that you were able to save the tamarind. ❤️

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  3. Iain and I met Betty, Tina’s mother when we ventured down to a “private “ beach! We fell in love with Guavaberry, Betty, Tina, Christine,Michelle, then very little girls and their wonderful father Ludi. Iain’s family also came from Perthshire (Scotland) and we had just arrived in the USA from UK. and the beginning of our “dream” vacations on Virgin Gorda. The tenacity of everyone on our beloved Island (all the other Islands too) is simply amazing. To overcome the extreme devistation of the two hurricanes is difficult to comprehend and the tanasity of you all is beyond belief.Bless you all—-we will be back! Christine.

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  4. Such a great story. Thanks so much for sharin and also Thanks so much for doing this blog. It is a wonderful way for those of us that Love you all, and Love GBSB and Love Virgin Gorda to stay connected during this time of rebuilding. Will be contacting you soon to make plans for our 2019 visit. Love n Aloha, Al n Jerry >

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